Despite objections from China, The Trump administration will push ahead with an $8 billion sale of fighter jets to Taiwan, The Washington Post is reporting. The newspaper, in a story posted Friday, attributed its information to a U.S. official and others familiar with the deal.
The F-16 jets represent the largest sale of weaponry to Taiwan in years. And the newspaper noted it comes as trade talks with China are stalled.
Congressional lawmakers from both parties had begun questioning if the administration was intentionally delaying the sale, possible because of China.
But now the State Department has submitted the package for informal review, according to The Post
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida praised the administration for moving ahead with the plans.
“As the Chinese government and Communist Party seeks to extend its authoritarian reach in the region, it is critical that the United States continue to enhance our strategic relationship with our democratic partner Taiwan through regular and consistent support,” he said.
The U.S. has not sold new fighter jets to Taiwan since the administration of George H.W. Bush.
The Post said the move will likely anger China, which could sanction companies that make the jets.